Naming Policy


The Wellesley Free Library (the “WFL”) welcomes private support directly or through entities under its auspices such as supporting 501(c)(3) funds or organizations including the Wellesley Free Library Foundation (the “WFL Foundation”) and the Friends of the Wellesley Free Libraries (the “Friends”). Gifts from individuals, families, foundations, corporations and organizations may be in the form of significant contributions, monetary or otherwise. The WFL offers a range of opportunities for naming and recognition.

The intent of this Naming Policy is to allow recognition of extraordinary generosity on the part of citizens or organizations that support the Library. This Policy provides flexibility for both a donor and the WFL and is intended to be mutually beneficial. Naming opportunities exist for library facilities, collections, programs and endowments. In extraordinary circumstances, the Board of Library Trustees (the “Trustees”) may consider a naming opportunity solely for honorific purposes.

This Policy ensures consistency and equity over time throughout the WFL system. It also allows for flexibility in the creation of new areas and opportunities for naming. This Policy is consistent with those in use by other public libraries and institutions.

General Provisions

This Naming Policy complies with provisions of the Wellesley Town Bylaws. The Trustees shall have sole responsibility for naming/renaming and dedicating all areas of the WFL system (spaces, facilities, furnishings) as permitted under the Bylaws. In addition, the WFL Naming Policy complies with the provisions of the Wellesley Free Library Gift Acceptance Policy. Gifts to be considered under the provisions of this policy must meet the requirements of the Gift Acceptance Policy.

The Trustees will apply the following guidelines when considering a naming/renaming or dedication recommendation:

  • Each naming/renaming and dedicating opportunity will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Trustees. The Trustees will create a written agreement between the WFL and the donor for each naming opportunity. This document will include conditions, terms and payment schedule for a contribution. The Trustees will determine the way each name is recognized. Signage will be uniform and designed to fit with the aesthetics of the Library.
  • The Trustees will determine the appropriate duration of the naming opportunity.  In no event shall the Trustees guarantee that a name will be used in perpetuity or beyond the useful life of the spaces, facilities or specific named items.
  • The Trustees shall give special consideration to requests by the WFL Foundation that may directly relate to contributions made to the WFL Foundation for the purpose of improving and enriching the facilities, collections and programs of the Library system.
  • All naming opportunities shall be granted at the discretion of the Trustees.  Furthermore, the Trustees reserve the right to terminate a naming opportunity if, in its judgment, there are compelling reasons or circumstances justifying such action.

Naming for Donor Recognition

The Trustees in collaboration with the Library Director and the Director of Development of the WFL Foundation will be responsible for maintaining an approved list of commemorative gift opportunities (e.g. meeting rooms, reading areas, study areas and other interior spaces, furnishings, books and other material comprising the collections, equipment, gardens, walkways, etc.) and their costs. These naming opportunities are available for individuals, families, foundations, corporations and other organizations.  Donors who wish to name approved areas, collections, or existing programs or services from this list must meet the specified funding level if they wish to have their name exclusively associated with same.  The list shall not be exclusive and the Trustees may consider naming opportunities not included on the list.

Naming opportunities are available for outright gifts as well as for long-term pledge agreements with the stipulation that these pledges will be paid over a maximum period of three years. A name conferred in recognition of a pledge is contingent on fulfillment of that pledge. Seventy-five percent of the total pledge must be paid prior to public recognition of the naming opportunity.  If the donor does not honor her or his pledge agreement in its entirety, the Trustees may terminate the naming opportunity or substitute another naming opportunity commensurate with the cash amount received.

Naming opportunities are not generally available for gifts of real or personal property until such gifts have been converted to cash, which will then be used as the value of the gift for naming purposes.

Renaming Areas of the WFL system

The Trustees may rename an area of the WFL system (facilities, collections or programs). However, this will be done only after careful consideration of the reason for doing so, review of any agreement or documentation that covers the existing name, the historical significance of that name, and costs associated with making the change

Naming of facilities (including spaces and furnishings), collections and programs in honor of individuals, corporations or other organizations will have a set number of years attached to the naming. The number will be determined on a case-by-case basis but will not exceed the useful life of the spaces, facilities or specific named items. All decisions as to length of naming will be included in the written gift agreement.

Naming for Honorific Purposes

In extraordinary circumstances, the Trustees may approve a naming opportunity within the interior or exterior of the Library for honorific purposes. In keeping with Town Bylaws, honorific names may include historical events, people and places, the history of Wellesley, Massachusetts and the United States, and local landmarks or prominent geographical locations. Individuals who are prominent within the Wellesley community may also be considered. Preference is given to those who have contributed in significant ways to the WFL. No current staff, Trustee, WFL Foundation Director or staff, or elected Town official is eligible during her/his tenure. One year must pass before consideration can be given to honoring a deceased person or a significant historical event.

Approved 9/9/2019 by the WFL Board of Trustees